Sumter EMC is among 32 electric cooperatives in Georgia that now collectively share in power production from a new 200-megawatt (MWAC) solar portfolio that includes three utility-scale projects in South Georgia. The total capacity of the three sites is distributed across two counties in the southwestern and southeastern parts of the state and is collectively providing enough low-cost, renewable energy to serve more than 35,000 EMC households. As a clean energy source, its environmental offset is equivalent to more than 350,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
The first site, known as Hazlehurst III, was commissioned in December 2019 and is a 40 MWAC facility located in Jeff Davis County. In August 2020, a second site was commissioned, the 74MWAC Terrell Solar Farm, in Terrell County. Most recently, the third and final site in the portfolio was commissioned in December 2020, Snipesville I, an 86MWAC facility also located in Jeff Davis County.
All three sites feature single-axis tracking modules that rotate to follow the sun –a technology advancement that produces approximately 20 percent more energy than fixed-tilt installations, allowing participating cooperatives to maximize the energy output.
Green Power EMC, the renewable energy provider owned by 38 Georgia Electric Membership Corporations including Sumter EMC, is purchasing the full power output of the three solar facilities and providing it to participating electric cooperatives.
Sumter EMC President/CEO Rene Smith said energy received from the 200-megawatt portfolio will be available to Sumter EMC member-consumers through the Cooperative Solar Program. Consumers can contact Sumter EMC’s customer service department at (800) 342-6978 for more information.
“We’re proud to participate in this innovative renewable energy project that helps us offer both clean and affordable power,” said Smith. “Solar power has become a vital part of our diversified energy portfolio used to serve our consumers as efficiently and economically as possible.”
Green Power EMC President Jeff Pratt said that Georgia’s cooperatives are driving renewable energy growth in Georgia and delivering long-term benefits to the communities they serve. “Through collaboration, Georgia’s EMCs have been able to secure lower-cost solar power by taking advantage of economies of scale. And with their communities in mind, those savings are then passed on to their member-consumers.”